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From Bliss to Bust: When Travel Duo Dreams Turn Into Nightmares

From Bliss to Bust: When Travel Duo Dreams Turn Into Nightmares

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There is an adage that traveling with someone will test your true compatibility, and maybe some of us are just designed to fly solo. Regardless, the following story is familiar to younger jetsetters. A 26-year-old backpacker (let’s call her Jane) reflects on her current adventure through Southeast Asia with her friend (she can be Lara). Lara is only one year older than Jane, but the personality gulf couldn’t be bigger.

1. Planning a Dream Adventure

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Being friends back home, they had never taken a trip together, and Jane now regrets committing to such a long trip together. They are on a six-month odyssey across the region, having saved and planned everything religiously. Still, she laments not taking a shorter trip with her before this milestone experience.

2. A Personality Clash

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Only three weeks in, Jane is starting to resent her friend each day, and everything about her is grating — to the point where looking at her is difficult. She and Lara are two different people: her sensitive friend is prone to bouts of anxiety, while Jane is a self-reported “active and chilled person.”

3. Like Being a Caregiver

Street dog

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Jane has several concerns with Lara, including her fear of everything: Lara is terrified of non-human creatures, and stray dogs are especially terrifying. Lara panics each time they see any street animals, making the scenario worse with shrieking and histrionics — which could endanger them both. All this exertion makes Jane feel like a caregiver, reassuring her companion with each step they take, which is exhausting.

4. Always on Her Phone

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Furthermore, Lara is constantly on her phone, looking for verification on the latest social media story she dropped, checking other people’s posts, and obsessing over details. She also holds up progress with her selfies and TikTok rip-offs; Lara likes to mimic other travelers’ videos, which often end up “awful and overhyped.”

5. She Can’t Keep Up

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Lara’s fitness and motivation for day trips is also an issue — Jane wakes at a reasonable seven or eight o’clock, but Lara sleeps until noon, even then taking naps later on — which may reflect a discrepancy in fitness levels. Back home, Jane works out four times a week, walks her dog daily, and often hikes on weekends.

6. Enjoying Time Alone

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However, Lara is out of breath after one flight of steps, and on a recent hike, Lara moaned and struggled the whole journey, threatening to quit several times before eventually calling a taxi to take her back. Consequently, Jane enjoyed the time alone and found the hike a catastrophe rather than the fun experience she had intended.

7. Anxiety Is To Blame

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Jane understands what it is like to have anxiety, having gone through depression and anxiety in her past. Nevertheless, Jane explains that she got help for her problems using audiobooks, podcasts, and self-development books to learn how she could fight against the incapacitating symptoms.

8. What Should She Do?

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She wants Lara to get better, and she feels bad that life isn’t easy for her, but concurrently, Jane understands that she is on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Is Jane being selfish instead of reaching out to her friend, or does she have every right to feel this way? After all, these kinds of experiences don’t come along often, and is it fair to allow someone to ruin it for them?

9. Be up Front

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One traveler urges Jane to speak to Lara and inform her they need to go their separate ways. However, the message must come with the caveat that this will affect their friendship. Failing that, maybe Jane needs to show some tough love, telling Lara unless she changes, they must separate.

10. Break the Cycle

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Others ask why they need to be joined at the hip — why can’t they enjoy their days apart and meet for drinks or dinner in the evenings? Jan may find activities to help her feel fulfilled by occasionally breaking up the partnership, while Lara can entertain herself by doing her TikTok videos. Good friends appreciate each other’s time and will be respectful of their wishes.

11. Find Common Ground

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Maybe Jane could help her friend by choosing more tourist-friendly locations to enjoy, considering her nervous disposition around wildlife. The question is whether Jane values their friendship or considers her traveling experience more important. If she slows her pace to Lara’s, will she resent her friends for ruining her dream adventure?

12. Are They Even Friends?

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One astute contributor feels the couple is too unfamiliar to begin with. Surely Jane would know of Lara’s personality before booking a six-month-long journey? If Lara’s behavior is a surprise to Jane, maybe Jane doesn’t know her friend as well as she thought, which shows why choosing a trusted companion is so essential to the backpacking lifestyle.

Source: Reddit.

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Sometimes, when people don’t have job security or a means of earning money, it may seem like the world is closing in on them. There’s the constant anxiety that always lurks in the background of their thoughts. Thoughts of where the next meal would come from, how to pay utility bills and rent, and plenty of other expenses. These thoughts can trigger a feeling of existential dread.

 

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